2012 Golden Globes Predictions

VIDEO: George Clooney plays a father struggling through family turmoil.
ABCNEWS.com

Let the betting begin.

Following today's announcement of the 2012 Golden Globe nominees, predictions are already being made for which stars will walk away with a trophy when the awards are presented Jan. 15.

The Globe voters, made up of 90 journalists in the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, aren't the most predictable bunch. They tend to ignore the critics -- remember "The Tourist" -- and select their favorite stars.

The big favorites this year: "The Artist," which led the nominations with six, and George Clooney.

FOR A FULL LIST OF NOMINEES CLICK HERE

Clooney earned three nods for his starring role in "The Descendants," as well as for best screenplay and best director for his "Ides of March."

In the drama category, Clooney will compete against his "Ides" co-star Ryan Gosling. Gosling also received a surprise nomination for best actor in a comedy for "Crazy Stupid Love."

The biggest snub may have been Steven Spielberg, who did not receive a best director nod for "War Horse" though the film earned a single nomination for best picture, drama. Spielberg's animated feature, "The Adventures of Tintin" did receive a nod, however.

"The Hollywood Foreign Press has three biases: ingenues or young stars, foreign stars and more stars," Thom Geier, senior editor at Entertainment Weekly, told ABCNews.com. "They want the starriest cast possible for their awards show."

CLICK HERE TO SEE SLIDESHOW OF GOLDEN GLOBE NOMINEES

Adding to the unpredictability of the Globes is Ricky Gervais, who returns for a third time to host the awards ceremony.

In a recent interview with Britain's Daily Telegraph, the English comedian laid down the gauntlet.

"I made a decision last year that I shouldn't be doing it for the 20 egos in the room, I should be doing it for the 200 million people watching at home and I'm going to do that this year. I'm not beholden to those people in the room so I can say exactly what I want," he said.

"So, I'd say to people in the room, be afraid," Gervais warned.

Geier predicted, "The stars are going to be on their best behavior. What Ricky Gervais will say about them could have a bigger impact on their career than their name being called."

Click through to see our picks for likely Golden Globe winners.

PHOTO: A land baron tries to re-connect with his two daughters after his wife suffers a boating accident in The Descendants.
FOX
Best Picture, Drama: 'The Descendants'

Geier sees a three-way race between "The Descendants," "The Help" and "The Artist" going into the awards season.

With "The Artist" likely to land in the best film, comedy or musical category, at the Globes, it will come down to "The Descendants" and "The Help."

Alexander Payne's offbeat drama starring George Clooney has the edge. "The Hollywood Foreign Press has not always responded well to civil rights dramas in the past," Geier said.

'The Artist': Sound of Silence
ABCNEWS.com
Best Picture, Comedy or Musical: 'The Artist'

This obscure black-and-white silent film has been gathering steam with critics and its French director and largely French cast will play well with the foreign media.

PHOTO: Viola Davis stars in "The Help," a film adaptation of Kathryn Stockett's novel of the same name.
Courtesy Dreamworks
Best Performance by an Actress in a Drama: Viola Davis

This is a two-way race between Meryl Streep for "The Iron Lady" and Viola Davis for "The Help."

Geier gives the edge to two-time Tony-winner Davis. "Even Meryl has been campaigning for her former castmate in 'Doubt.' This is Viola's for the taking."

PHOTO: George Clooney stars in the film, "The Descendants."
Courtesy Fox Searchlight Pictures
Best Performance by an Actor in a Drama: George Clooney

Geier thinks it's Clooney's year.

"I think they love Brad Pitt to death, but Clooney gives the much more emotional performance in 'The Descendants.' Pitt is very good in 'Moneyball.' It's just not the emotional highs and lows expected in an award film.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Comedy: Kristin Wiig

With the success of "Bridesmaids" female comedians have had a banner year.

Geier wouldn't be surprised if the Globes go for "Bridesmaids" star Kristin Wiig with Emma Stone in "Crazy, Stupid Love" a possible runner-up.

PHOTO: Jean Dujardin
The Weinstein Company
Best Performance by an Actor in a Comedy: Jean Dujardin

Jean Dujardin won for best actor at Cannes and will likely repeat at the Globes, where the foreign press loves its European nominees.

"He's the one to beat," Geier said.

PHOTO: Christopher Plummer and Ewan McGregor
Focus Features
Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer

Veteran Canadian actor Christopher Plummer should have a lock on this category for his role as Hal, a closeted gay father who comes out to his adult son before he's diagnosed with terminal cancer, in "Beginners."

The star of "The Sound of Music" has been around for decades but only received his first Oscar nomination two years ago for his role as Leo Tolstoy in "The Last Station."

PHOTO: Shailene Woodley and Melissa McCarthy
20th Century Fox|Suzanne Hanover/Universal Studios
Best Supporting Actress: Melissa McCarthy-Shaileen Woodley

This seems to be Melissa McCarthy's year.

She's racking up the critics' awards for her side-splitting role in "Bridesmaids." Earlier this year, she won an Emmy for "Mike and Molly."

But the Globes snubbed her for a nomination. So look for Shaileen Woodley to take the award for her role as the big sister in "The Descendants." "She is very much the ingenue," Geier said.

PHOTO: It's the late 1920s in Hollywood and handsome George Valentin is a silent movie idol in The Artist.
Weinstein Company
Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius

"The Artist" director Michel Hazanavicius could pull off the win among more established directors for a movie the Hollywood Foreign Press loves.

PHOTO: The adventures of Rin Tin Tin.
Paramount Pictures
Best Animated Feature: 'The Adventures of Tintin'

Steven Spielberg might not be completely overlooked at the Globes.

Although Geier doesn't think his sweeping drama "War Horse" will take many awards, his first foray into animation, "The Adventures of Tintin" could pull off a win over current critic favorite "Rango."

"Overseas, 'Tintin' has played to adoring crowds, and the comic books it's based on are better known overseas."

PHOTO: "In the Land of Milk and Honey" i set against the backdrop of the Bosnian War in the '90's.
GK Films
Best Foreign Language Film: 'In the Land of Blood and Honey'

What would the Golden Globes be without Angelina Jolie?

Although she might earn a nod for best director for her novice debut, "In the Land of Blood and Honey," the film, which is in the Bosnian language, could take home an award for best foreign-language film.

PHOTO: Jean Dujardin
The Weinstein Company
Television

Geier predicts "Breaking Bad" will win for best television drama this year, although he wouldn't count out new drama "Homeland."

Unlike the Emmys, the Globes likes spreading the love around, especially to new television shows or ones that haven't gotten any love before.

That said, "Breaking Bad" star Bryan Cranston and "Homeland" star Claire Danes have the edge for best actor and actress in a drama.

On the comedy side, "Modern Family" will likely continue its winning streak for best television comedy But Geier predicts the acting awards will go to Zooey Deschanel for "New Girl" and Johnny Galecki for "Big Bang Theory."

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